Rules

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1) Awards

 

a. Whitney Awards will be given for the following categories:

i.Romance

ii. Mystery/Suspense

iii. Speculative Fiction

iv. Historical Fiction

v. General Fiction

vi. General Young Adult Fiction

vii. Speculative Young Adult Fiction

viii. Middle Grade Fiction

ix. Best Youth Novel of the Year

x. Best Novel of the Year

xi. Best Novel by a New Author (for eligibility requirements, see 2.i.)

b. Categories may be split if enough books in a subgenre are nominated. Number of books required to fill a subgenre category will be determined by the Whitney Committee.

 

2) Eligibility for Awards

 

a. Definition: “novel” in these rules refers to a work of fiction that is at least 50,000 words in length for the adult genre categories, and at least 20,000 words in length for the youth categories.

i. Short stories, anthologies, collections, graphic novels, and other short works of fiction are not eligible.

 

b. A novel’s publication date must be between January 1st and December 31st of the award year.

i. The term “award year” here and throughout the rules refers to a novel’s eligibility year, not the year in which the awards will be presented.

 

c. Novels must be written by a member or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

d. Novels are eligible whether or not the author is a member of LDStorymakers, Inc.

 

e. Novels are eligible whether or not they have been published by traditional LDS publishers.

i. Accepted formats include e-book or hard copy publication.

ii. Self-published books are also eligible.

 

f. Re-releases, second editions, reprints, or revisions of the same novel are not eligible. Eligibility date is determined by the first date the book is intended to be available for immediate purchase.

i. If a book is re-released or re-published in the same calendar year, i.e. a revised version is uploaded to Kindle, the book that is eligible for the Whitney is the version currently available at the time the author is contacted to confirm the eligibility of his or her novel. This is the version that will be sent to the judges.

ii. If multiple versions/editions are available, the Whitney Awards Committee is not responsible for which version the academy will read and vote on if the novel becomes a finalist. Authors are encouraged to carefully consider when they make their book release available and to understand that original release will lock in the eligibility date and edition.

 

g. Novels written or published by members of the Whitney Awards Committee are not eligible during any award year that the author serves on the Committee.

 

h. Whitney Award judges may not adjudicate any category in which they also have a novel published in the same awards year in which they serve.

 

i. For the Best Novel by a New Author award, the nominated novel must be the first novel published by the author in any format and be a finalist in its genre category.

i. In the event that there are not at least five new authors in the genre finals, judges will be asked to recommend titles of debut authors they evaluated that they feel should be considered for the award.

ii. Any finalist that is also the first published novel by an author is eligible for the Best Novel by a New Author award. Therefore, the number of finalists for this award may vary.

iii. A previously published nonfiction book doesn’t affect the eligibility of an author’s first novel for the Best Novel by a New Author award.

iv. If a debut author has more than one novel published during the awards year, only the one published first qualifies for the Best Novel by a New Author award, and only if it is a finalist.

 

3) Nominations

 

a. The nominator must provide

i. The title and name of the author of the nominated work.

ii. The nominator’s name, e-mail address, and city.

 

b. The nominator must confirm that he or she is at least twelve years old.

 

c. A novel may not be nominated by the novel’s author, publisher, publisher’s employee, immediate family (defined as the author’s spouse, minor and adult children, and any relatives living in the same household), or any other party who has a monetary interest in the work.

 

d. Nominations will be sent to the Whitney Awards Committee electronically.

 

e. Nominations may be made any time between January 1 and December 31 of the award year.

 

f. The nominator may nominate each novel only once.

 

g. After a novel has received five nominations, a member of the Whitney Awards Committee will contact the author. The novel becomes an official nominee after the author or author’s representative has confirmed the work’s word count, publication date, and other eligibility criteria. The book is then placed on the judges’ category ballot.

i. If confirmation cannot be secured by January 10 of the following year—the year in which the awards will be presented—the novel may be deemed ineligible.

 

h. The Whitney Awards Committee may use its discretion in placing novels into genre categories.

 

4) Judges

 

a. Five judges will be assigned to each genre category.

b. Each judge will read all nominated novels in that category, as directed by the Whitney Awards Committee.

c. Each judge will independently rank each novel and deliver those rankings to the Whitney Awards Committee via a ballot provided by the Committee electronically or by mail.

d. Each judge will make his or her rankings independent of the other judges and will not need to disclose his or her own rankings to anyone except the Whitney Awards Committee.

e. The Whitney Awards Committee may discuss whether to nominate any un-nominated novels. If they choose to, they will assign the novel to the category it best fits.

f. Only one un-nominated novel can be a finalist in any awards category.

g. The option of no award must be given to the judges.

 

5) Voting

 

a. Final ballots will be sent (either in print or electronic form) to all members of the Awards Academy no later than February 15 of the year following the award year, after the announcement of finalists.

 

b. The Whitney Awards Academy will consist of:

i. All eligible LDS authors.

1. To be eligible, an author must be a member of the LDS Church and meet one of the following criteria:

a. Be a member of LDStorymakers, Inc.

b. Be published by a traditional publisher (not self-published or vanity press) within the last five years.

c. Be a previous or current Whitney Awards Finalist.

ii. Other professionals and experts in the industry, including but not limited to bookstore owners, distributors, book critics, and media, etc. as determined by the Whitney Awards Committee.

iii. Judges, if a judge is not yet part of the academy based on other criteria.

iv. Exceptions and additions to the Awards Academy can be made by a majority vote of the Whitney Awards Committee.

v. Former academy members who have requested to leave the academy must qualify according to the original eligibility requirements as a new member before joining the academy again.

vi. Academy members are not required to cast a ballot every year.

 

c. In each award category, no award must be offered as a voting option.

i. If the majority result of any category is no award, then no award will be granted in that category for that award year.

 

d. Academy members may vote in as few as 1 or as many as all 8 genre categories, but must read every finalist in a category to vote in it.

i. To vote for Best Novel by a New Author, an academy member must have read all finalists that are eligible for that award.

ii. To vote for Best Youth Novel, an academy member must have read all 15 finalists in the youth categories.

iii. To vote for Best Novel, an academy member must have read all 25 finalists in the adult categories.

 

e. Final ballots must be returned to the Whitney Awards Committee no later than 15 days before the Whitney Awards presentation.

 

f. No final ballot may be opened except by members of the Whitney Awards Committee.

i. At least two members of the Whitney Awards Committee must be present when any ballots are opened and tabulated.

ii. Committee members may be considered present for the purpose of opening ballots if they do so electronically (e.g. via Skype or other technology) and view the data simultaneously.

 

g. The finalist receiving the greatest number of votes will be declared the winner of the Whitney Award in that category.

 

h. In the event of a tie, all tied finalists will receive the Whitney Award in that category.

 

i. All award results are to be kept secret, known only to members of the Whitney Awards Committee until the presentation of the awards.

 

j. The Whitney Awards Committee will not release detailed voting results to the public, either before or after the awards ceremony.

 

k. An individual novel may be a finalist in only one genre category.

 

l. An individual novel may be a finalist in up to three categories (one genre category, Best Novel by a New Author, and Best Novel of the Year), and can win in any or all of those categories.

 

6) Achievement Awards

 

a. The Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Achievement Award may be presented in addition to the genre and overall awards.

b. Achievement award winners are determined by the Whitney Awards Committee.

c. The achievement award winners may be announced publicly prior to the awards presentation.

 

7) Whitney Awards Committee

 

a. The Whitney Awards Committee will consist of up to seven members, including the Whitney Awards President.

i. The Whitney Awards President is a member of the Board of Directors of LDStorymakers, Inc.

ii. In the event that the Whitney Awards President is not a member of LDStorymakers, Inc., the President will appoint a liaison from the Whitney Awards Committee who is a member of LDStorymakers to represent the Whitney Awards at Board meetings.

 

b. Members of the Whitney Awards Committee will be appointed by the Whitney Awards President.

 

c. The Whitney Awards President will be appointed by the LDStorymakers Board of Directors, on the recommendation of the outgoing Whitney Awards President.

i. The term of a Whitney Awards President isn’t fixed, but is typically one or two years.

ii. For purposes of eligibility, Committee Members are ineligible for their committee’s award year (January 1 to December 31), not during the specific dates they serve.

 

8) Amendments

 

a. Once ratified, changes to these rules can only be made by a majority vote of the Whitney Awards Committee.

 

b. If changes are made to these rules, they must be reported to the LDStorymakers Board of Directors within two days and announced publically within seven days.

 

9) Miscellaneous

 

a. These rules define only the operations of the Whitney Awards contest for novels by LDS authors, and do not limit the operations of the Whitney Awards organization or the Whitney Awards Committee.

 

10) Ratification

 

a. These rules were updated and ratified on July 8, 2015.